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Story Development for Artists: from Idea to Reality

An 8-week course on how to develop an idea into a story using timeless techniques

Course overview Course overview

Course Overview

Develop your story idea into a world of its own

Everyone has IDEAS; now learn how to take that idea/sketch/napkin drawing and build it into a STORY with relatable characters, solid structure, and themes using timeless, but simple techniques inspired by everything from ancient myths to contemporary film, books, comics and animation. Students will develop their own ideas, characters and stories using written premises, outlines, treatments, fictional biographies and character histories, becoming the absolute authorities on their invented worlds – with an eye toward preparing each student’s creative development work for real-life application in their media of choice; film, TV, animation, comics, etc.


Course Format:   Standard
Lecture Type:   Pre-recorded
Feedback:   Individual recordings
Duration:   8 weeks
Assignment:   Deadlines each week
Q&A:   Once a week
Materials:   None
Skills level:   Intermmediate
Prerequisites:   None

Story Development for Artists: from Idea to Reality WHAT YOU’LL LEARN

What you'll learn

The more you know, the better.

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Intro to story: What is it? Why do we love it? How do we make it? | Selection and creative thinking process techniques; how to effectively select what to spend your time on: from doodle to passion project
Characters in TV and film | Powerful introductions | Writing what you know: your life is full of characters | Heroes & villains, cliché vs. archetype, caricature vs. character, one-dimensional vs. multi-dimensional
Defining character needs, wants, and behavior | Character contrast and supporting cast
Building your story: from stick man to final render | Story vs. plot / what vs. how: what happens and how to show it | Image systems and motif; the seduction of pretty pictures | Serialized vs. episodic
Classical and contemporary models for story | Three-act structure and other lies | A, B, and C plots | Deciding what works best for you
Deciding which story to tell; the Star Wars model | Building your story, then writing it: note cards, outlining, sculpting; writing inside out vs. outside in; just like drawing | Weaving character and story: how to build theme; where to find it and when; controlling ideas and keeping it simple
The elevator pitch: how to take your creative research and pare it down to bare essentials | Workshopping with peers: collecting constructive criticism
Now what? Planning for next steps: intro to TV, feature, and comic strips; writing novels/prose | Pitching/selling vs. controlling your I.P.

Unleash your creative potential

Lectures by Joshua Pruett

Joshua Pruett is a Primetime Emmy and Annie Award Nominated Writer, Author and Storyboard Artist best known for his work on MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000, PHINEAS AND FERB, and Disney XD's MILO MURPHY'S LAW. His original, debut middle grade book series SHIPWRECKERS will launch in 2019 from DISNEY/HYPERION. Joshua has over a decade of experience inflicting laughter on others as Storyboard Artist, Writer and Creative Consultant for Disney TV, DreamWorks Feature Animation, Nickelodeon, DreamWorks TV, Awesomeness TV, Sprout/NBC Universal, Disney China/Beijing, Zombie Bake Shop, Netflix and Paramount Feature Animation. Most recently, he developed THE HAUNTED MANSION for Disney TV with his friend and writing partner, Scott Peterson. His first novel, THE JUNGLE BOOK: THE STRENGTH OF THE WOLF IS THE PACK, with Scott Peterson, adapted the 2016 live action feature film into a novel for young readers. He is also the author of the short story horror anthology THE MISERY COMPANY, currently available on Amazon.com.


October 12th!

winter TERM Registration

May 14, 2019 - Jul 23, 2019




October 12th!

Pricing & Schedule

Even though our courses are the most affordable for the quality of education.

These Finance Options allow you to focus on your goals instead of the barriers that keep you from reaching them.

Employer Reimbursement

Animation Guild CSATTF

Payment Plan

Companies that hire our students

  • Naughty Dog
  • Luma Pictures
  • Google
  • EA Games
  • DreamWorks Animation
  • Blizzard Entertainment

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